Do I intervene further?


In the Brooder
11 Years
May 28, 2008
Templeton CA
I woke up this morning and found one of my chicks half out of the shell and dead, it looks like its head got stuck and it suffocated. I hate when they get that far and don't make it, so I decided to intervene. After two pecked an opening and got no farther and the peeps got fainter I started to peel away the shell carefully, they seem very dry. I didn't pull the shell completly away I could see their beaks and they were alive and moving so I left them alone, not sure if the yoke had been fully absorbed. It's been about two hours and I went to check on them and no further progress. They are still alive but there is some bleeding, I think from the mother hen stepping on them, should i break them free or leave it alone? Plus all the other eggs that were peeping from inside the shell have not punched through and are silent. I don't want to lose all the chicks this late either by interfering or not any advice? I'm temped to put them in the oven so I can watch them without stressing out the hen, we had a successful hatch that way last year and I'm afaid they will be damaged in the nest now that I have messed with the shell. Is it a bad idea to poke the other air pockets on the ones that were peeping and are now silent?
If you see blood its too soon, they still are absorbing the yoke, the only way you would need to step in and help, was if there is a problem with humidity, normally the "Hen" has this in pretty good control. They shouldnt get damaged in the nest, thats probably the safest place for them to be. If you've ever incubated eggs you know how rough the hatched chicks are to the unhatched eggs and they still manage to hatch. I'd leave them alone at this point. The more you mess with them the less chance they have to hatch, moving them out from under the hen will mess the humidity up and moving them around makes them have to change their position to hatch. If you dont have hatched chicks within 12-24 hours then you might need to help.
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I agree.. let nature take it's course. That is very wise.. Not necessarily easy, but wise.

You might be able to save a chick, but if it's not meant to hatch, or you get it out too early, you could be facing other problems.. like leg problems, pecking reflex, etc. Not what you want..
OK so I had to peek and found that both chicks are still alive, no more progress, but also no visable blood so hopefully they will work themselves out by tonight. My broody is so good she compains at me but doesn't even peck when I poke around her.
yeah, two chicks out of their shell. one of the ones that I messed with earlier has not come out yet, but she is still alive so I have faith that it will all work out. It was so great to see one that hadn't even started earlier today out of his shell, I'm going to pray for more throughout the night.
Hooray!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so relieved. Three happy healthy fluffy chicks and another piping. Hopefully we will get a few more babies before the day is out.

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